Sarah Kate Purnell
On November 8, North Carolina will prepare for a new or returning Governor to take office, with three candidates running in the gubernatorial election.
The first candidate is North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, running as the Democratic nominee.
Assuming the Attorney General office in 2001, Cooper has also served in the NC House of Representatives from 1987-1991, and the NC Senate from 1991-2001.
While in office Cooper has increased DNA testing of crime scene evidence, advocated harsher sentences for child pornographers and predators, and mandated that sex offenders report where they live.
The second candidate is incumbent NC Governor, Pat McCrory. McCrory has been in office since January 2013, and is running for his second term as the Republican nominee.
Serving as Charlotte Mayor from 1995 to 2009, McCrory was seen as a moderate conservative and enjoyed bipartisan support. He shifted to a strict conservative stance in the 2012 gubernatorial election, garnering support from the right, including the Tea Party movement.
McCrory has been involved in many policies and topics in his political careers, such as House Bill 2, the budget dispute resolution, veto of same-sex marriage exemption, response to 2014 illegal immigration surge, cabinet salaries, tax reform, and common core education.
The third candidate in the election mix is Libertarian and retired engineer, Lon Vernon Cecil.
Cecil was a potential Libertarian candidate for the NC 12th Congressional District during the 2012 election cycle, but withdrew prior to the election.
Cecil’s campaign will focus on the creation of modern, clean jobs in North Carolina.
Cecil also hopes to win at least 2 percent of the vote, allowing the Libertarians to maintain automatic access to the ballot.
Gubernatorial candidates Governor Pat McCrory (R) and Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) debated on June 24 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte in front of the North Carolina Bar Association.
McCrory and Cooper discussed topics including public education and the state’s controversial transgender bathroom access law, HB2. Cooper called the bill ‘divisive,’ and a privacy rights infringement, while McCrory maintained that the law protects students.
McCrory stated his successes in office, including raising teacher pay, lower unemployment rates, and tax cuts of $4.4 billion, and. Cooper stated his plan to end vouchers for private schools and alleged that McCrory’s tax cuts benefited only large corporations.
“North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) polled nine points behind Democratic challenger Roy Cooper in a Monmouth poll of the state’s gubernatorial election.” Talking Points Memo (TPM) author Danielle Keeton- Olsen stated. ”Cooper leads McCrory 52-43, with Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil polling at 3 percent.”
“McCrory has gained national attention for signing HB2, which prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination rules and barred individuals from the right to sue their workplace for any kind of discrimination.” Olson continued, “Among those polled, 55 percent disapproved of HB2 and another 70 percent thought the legislation gave North Carolina a bad reputation nationally.”
The NC Governor candidates will be on the ballot with the Presidential candidates for the November 8 election.